My Commitment to Making New Friends
Think back to freshman year of college, high school, or even your first year of middle school. Think about how open and eager everyone was to make friends–what happened to this? Truth be told, you start falling into your daily habits, and perhaps go on autopilot. You’re no longer in the “safe zone” of being surrounded by people who have the same lifestyle, general schedule, and mindset as you once you’re done with school. Nobody warns you about this.
I’ve recently made a commitment to making new friends. It sounds stupid and lame, I know, but it’s one of those things I find invigorating in my every day life. I’ve been going to the same gym classes for about 6 months now and have maybe talked to 5 people total? Some of these people I spend 2-4 hours a week with (in the same room, doing the same activity) and we haven’t exchanged one word. That’s dumb, right? I’ve been working to fix that.
Maybe my goal should be to talk to a new person every day of my life–even if it’s just small talk. Really pay attention to the people around me and say something, a compliment, a question, hell, talk about the weather like every other Portlander does. Take the time to get to know people like I used to back in middle and high school.
To me, and healthy social life means that I have a good balance of close friends and acquaintances. It means that I’m working to make great memories with the people I love, and experience new things with amazing people. I’m a stuff do-er (I don’t need/enjoy a lot of down time), so I’m always looking for people to do things with. I love the friends that I have, but there’s really nothing wrong with making new ones, so why not?
Think about your own life–when was the last time you made a new friend? When was the last time you caught up with an old one? I don’t know about you, but whenever I make a new friend, I think to myself, “Self, this person is so freaking cool. You should do this more often.” And if that’s my goal, why not help others achieve this same goal before they even set it for themselves?
Thursday night, a friend and I had talked about getting some people together for Frisbee. I was on the fence about inviting some friends I’m not really super close with because this was something we’d never done together–I didn’t even know if they had ever touched a Frisbee. Needless to say, I invited them, and we had an amazing turnout. It felt great to see lots of different people get to know each other and broaden their social network (cheesy version: friendship circle).
We’ve always been really welcoming to new players–if someone’s standing around the field, invite them to play. If they don’t know how, take a second to teach them and be patient. I’ve learned it’s much easier to meet new people when you have friends that get the same high you do from it. Maybe we’ll work to dispel my childhood theory one Frisbee game at a time…
P.S. If you want in, let me know. We play at random times on random days at the field by the Peter Stott Center at PSU. I’ll shoot you a text the next time we play.